Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/741

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NOTES.

er within those areas some localities would have more gas than others, according to the inequalities in the distribution of pressure. Mr. Harries invites officers in coal-mines to supply him with observations of the pressure of gas in their mines, taken once a day, in the morning—at least for the four months ending with December 31st. The information thus supplied will be compared with that furnished by the weather-charts for the same hours.

 

Disappearance of an Island.—According to the official newspaper of the Faroe Islands, the rock-island of Munken, south of Sumbö, which was one of the most prominent landmarks of the group, has sunk. It had stood seventy feet above the level of the sea, but several months ago a large proportion of the rock had crumbled away, so that the tide washed over most of its surface. The shallow waters around the island formed dangerous currents, with eddies, or maelstroms, which were much dreaded by mariners. Pastor Lucas Jacobsön Debes, in 1673, gave a graphic description of the maelstrom, with the Sumbö Munken rock rising from amid it, and asserted that the compass lost its polarity there. Pastor Jürgen Landt, in 1800, also wrote about the maelstrom, and described the island as presenting, when seen from the water, the appearance of a ship under full sail; and from the land, the likeness of a monk, having a neck of red clay, and a head and body of a dark-gray stone, or coarse basalt. On the 28th of May, 1885, the Danish Minister of the Marine reported that Munken had fallen in, and so one of the most striking objects in the Faroe group, which had been sailed past and admired by thousands of sailors, and played an important part in geographical literature, had disappeared.

 

Laterite and its Odors.—A writer in "Das Ausland" states that in a certain district of West Africa the soil is largely composed of an argillaceous deposit called laterite, which is very porous and freely penetrable by water to its lowest depth. As the water penetrates it, the air contained in it is of course driven out. This air being charged with decomposing organic matters washed in by the rain, the emanations after a strong shower are decidedly malodorous. As violent storms are not unfrequent, they are regular and strong enough to attract the attention of the natives, and they give them a name which may be translated meadow-stink.

 


NOTES.

The steel-plate portrait of the late editor of this magazine, published in the present number, is by Mr. Charles Schlect, and is considered by the friends of Professor Youmans a spirited and excellent likeness.

Mr. W. Stainton Moses, lately a vice-president, has withdrawn from the English Society for Psychical Research, on the ground that the evidence for phenomena of the genuine character of which he and others have satisfied themselves beyond a doubt, is not properly entertained or fairly treated by it.

Professor Burt G. Wilder looks forward to a time when the terms used in anatomy will be simplified and made to agree with a uniform standard. Replying to criticism of the modifications he has himself introduced in such terms, he claims to have endeavored to hasten what seemed to be the natural progress of reform. Very few terms used by him do not occur in the writings of some anatomist of authority. He has selected what seemed to him the best, modified them, when desirable, in accordance with established etymological rules, and has "always used the same word for the same thing." This he has done consistently and persistently; and whatever new terms he puts forth are first tested in the laboratory and lecture-room.

There is no doubt, the "Lancet" believes, that woman can, if she will, qualify herself to do anything that a man can do; for "no physiologist will question the possibility of developing by appropriate stimuli, exercise, and food, any particular part or parts of an organism in such a manner as to make it respond to the demands of its environment"; and it must therefore be theoretically possible that the woman shall be developed in respect to any one or more of her organic potentialities to a level with the male. But she must do so at the expense of some other power, and this is usually at the sacrifice of some function that makes her valuable as a woman. The real question in the matter is, whether it is worth while to pay so great a price for the privilege.

Fourteen European scholars in China recently had a discussion of the question whether Western knowledge, and particularly science, should be conveyed to the Chinese through the medium of their own